EP Review: Joel Zigman – Down

Joel Zigman is an electronic pop artist based in Denver, USA whose fresh and unique new EP Down caught my attention. Over four tracks, it tells the story of Joel’s life over the past couple of years, managing big life events against a backdrop of quarantine. Here’s my track by track rundown.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Zee Griffler

The EP opens with its title track and a softly ambient arrangement. Joel’s vocals float in, charming and expressive. His first story is one of love, one grounded in the real world and brought to life through attention to detail. What really stayed with me though, was the melody, light, whimsical and memorable.

Walls Are Too Thin comes next, inspired by the special stir-craziness that was uniquely brought about by pandemic lockdown. It opens with an distorted keyboard melody that feels both modern and retro. Gentle percussion and electric organ provide some texture but, as with Down, things are kept minimal to best let the lyrics do the talking.

Track three is TDOR. It is both a wider dedication to Trans Day of Remembrance and a personal story, honouring a friend of Joel’s who is no longer here. It is expectedly sombre, with barely there bass mingling with a delicate guitar riff. Again, the storytelling takes centre stage and both Joel’s feelings and memories come through loud and clear. It’s a strong moment in the EP’s story.

The EP closes with the funky and soulful Max! In Joel’s own words, the song is about a cat, but there is a certain amount of double entendre going on, and it could do easily be a song of seduction. Guitar licks mimic mews in a light-hearted ending.

Joel Zigman is an artist who has found his voice, isn’t afraid to try something different and can create a lot with little in his EP. His storytelling is second to none, and Down will make you both feel and smile. What more could you ask for? You can check out the EP below.